Protecting our planet on Earth Day, and every day

This year’s #EarthDay takes place on 22 April and will be highlighting the many ways we can all help to protect the planet through our work and actions. This year’s theme focuses on ending plastics for the sake of human and planetary health by demanding a 60% reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040.  Here our colleague Daniel Codd takes a look at a number of OFR’s initiatives that demonstrate our commitment to the sustainable use of timber across projects internationally.

#EarthDay has been an important annual event since 1970 that successfully raises awareness of the key environmental issues our planet continues to face – it ensures an ongoing focus throughout the year and serves as an important reminder to prioritise environmental conservation and sustainability in our activities. It is the largest civic event on Earth, engaging billions of people worldwide to mobilise and take action to protect our planet.

Working within the construction industry we are all too aware of the impact that the sector places on the environment and the use of plastics – and that is why we have always worked to ensure that our growth and innovation is firmly centred around clear sustainability objectives. Actions to reduce our carbon footprint have included our partnership with World Land Trust to actively measure, offset and reduce carbon emissions – in 2023 we offset 52.5 tonnes of carbon emissions. 

Since our inception in 2016 we have strongly advocated for the safe and sustainable use of timber as a construction material. We are continually investing in research and development to better understand the challenges to help timber find its place in the future of construction. We champion sustainable construction methods, such as timber and CLT, having worked on pioneering projects including Ev0 in Manchester and by advising on 30 large-scale, high-profile timber projects. 

Additionally we are honoured to contribute to the discourse at Government level, attending committees at the Houses of Parliament as well as sharing best practice and advocating for the wider use of timber, by contributing on a consortium of technical and design experts known for their advocacy of structural timber, to create the very first Commercial Timber Guidebook.

And this commitment to the planet runs through our team, with colleagues donating 277.5 hours of time to charitable and environmental causes through our unique Better Days volunteering initiative, which has seen colleagues undertake activities including as conservation volunteers in Scotland and by supporting the Bristol Avon Rovers Trust.

So, I’d encourage all businesses to get involved in the fight to #EndPlastics – you can read more about Earth Day here and I’d also encourage you to take a look at a project I’ve had a personal interest in for a few years – one that has used pioneering techniques in engineering and grown substantially in a very short space of time – The Ocean Cleanup

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Daniel Codd

Operations Director

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